STOCKHOLM - Rwanda has made some of the most remarkable progress by an African state in the areas of good governance and development, the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Per Westerberg said on Thursday.
This was during talks with his Rwandan counterpart, Rose Mukantabana, at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm.
“Our country is interested in fostering good governance in Africa”, said Westerberg. “We are impressed by the progress in good governance and development in Rwanda. No doubt about that”, he added.
The bilateral talks, also attended by the Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Eugene Munyakayanza and Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Nordic Countries, Jacqueline Mukangira, were held on the sidelines of the annual EU Development Symposium—the European Development Days.
Sweden, the first and only country in the world to give at least one percent of its GDP as foreign aid, is one of Rwanda’s leading development cooperation partners.
Mukantabana noted that Sweden had started its cooperation at Rwanda’s most needy time in 1995—soon after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
“You get to tell real friends by when they come to your aid. A friend in need is a friend indeed”, she said.
Still, the Rwandan Speaker reminded her Swedish counterpart, flanked by Sven-Erik Österberg, parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats, the largest opposition party in Sweden that the international community had stood by as Rwanda descended into genocide.
“Our country was rescued by Rwandans”, said Mukantabana. “That is why we are very determined to rebuild and turn the page on poverty and injustice”.
Hon. Mukantabana also highlighted Rwanda’s success in fighting corruption saying that the war against corruption was the “centrepiece of government and public life in Rwanda”.
Along with fighting corruption, Mukantabana mentioned Rwanda’s efforts to further ease investing in the country.
“One of the priorities of our parliament this year is to continue providing legislative support to the nationwide campaign to ease doing business in Rwanda.
Several international organizations have already taken note of our progress. The World Bank recently ranked Rwanda as the best reformer in the year in improving ease of doing business”, she noted.
The Speaker invited her Swedish counterpart to visit Rwanda and “learn about our country firsthand”.
Sweden, one of the wealthiest countries on earth, currently holds the presidency of the EU.